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Archive for the 'Gregg Senko' Category

Star Wars Battlefront II (PS4 Game Review)

It is finally here! It feels only like yesterday when I was at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando back in April of this year. Sitting in on the Battlefront II discussion panel with thousands of others, I was in awe of the stills and trailer we were given. The original Battlefront (original Xbox, PC, PS2) from 2004 is in my top three video games of all time. Its major flaw was controlling airborne vehicles, which was such a poor experience, but one that could be easily overlooked since the ground-based combat was such a thrill. Then there was Battlefront II. No, not the one just released last week, but the one from some years back which first introduced the opportunity to play as heroes and villains. Like the second Avengers film, it very much lacked the personality and feel of its predecessor. After a changing of the guard at Lucasarts via the Disney purchase, the long-awaited Battlefront follow-up arrived in 2015 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. It was arguably the best one in the series (speaking of all titles in the series, let’s not forget the Playstation Portable version called Battlefront Renegade which never got much coverage). While individual classes were gone in Battlefront (sniper, heavy gunner, etc.), the fully customizable concept of building your character was a big hit and allowed for a wide array of soldiers on the battlefield. All of that recap brings us to the much anticipated Battlefront II of 2017. How is it, you ask? Let’s take a look

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The Wizard of Lies (Blu-ray Review)

Inmate #61727054. Surely that’s a number that proves irrelevant to most of us. We live in a land where prisoners are more than abundant. However, some are more famous than others and few more so than inmate #61727054, better known as Bernard L. Madoff. Bernie Madoff lived up to his last name and ‘made off’ with a disgustingly enormous sum of $65 billion of other peoples’ money. Director Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam) brought this tale of financial deceit to HBO earlier this year in the form of the bio pic The Wizard of Lies starring Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff and Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife, Ruth Madoff. The film now makes its way to Blu-ray and we’ve got all the details on this disc from start to finish.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Blu-ray Review)

There is no mistaking the quality of programming that comes from HBO. Productions like Westworld, True Detective and Game of Thrones continue to wow audiences with their exceptional writing, acting and direction. As those series are currently some of the mainstays of HBO, it can be easy to overlook the original films that come forth from the cable giant. One such movie is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. There are a great deal of stories in our nation’s history that would never be told if it weren’t for the perseverance and preservation of a few determined folks. Mrs. Lacks’ story is one such case.

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Marvel Debuts Mace Windu / Captain Phasma Comics

Two Star Wars standouts got their own comic books this month and they were none other than Jedi Master Mace Windu and metallic marine Captain Phasma. To begin with, last week the (sort of) vice president of Jedi during the Clone Wars saw his own mini-series debut from Marvel. The five-issue series is written by Matt Owens and pencilled by Denys Cowan and features a story of Mace leading a small party of Jedi to the planet Hissrich to monitor the Separatists.

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The Movies That Got Away – How the Films We Missed Would’ve Changed Our Past Top 10’s

“There are only so many hours in the day.” That’s a statement we have all heard and probably even used ourselves. The same thing applies to movie watching and then some. There are only so many hours in a day and only so many movies we can get to in a year. Every year at least one person that sees my Top 10 list in January asks me, “Oh, so you’ve seen EVERY movie from last year?” No. Of course not.  That’s not realistic, but since I have a keyboard and an opinion, I’ll write about what I did see.  Still, that can leave a multitude of pictures out of a person’s viewing experience.  So what happens to those great films we missed?

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Gotham Throwdown! Riddler vs. Joker (Round 1)

Batman #25 came out in print and digital formats this past Tuesday, but it wasn’t the Caped Crusader that everyone was necessarily clamoring to read about this week. Turns out the greed of two of Batman’s biggest arch rivals have pitted their wits and forces against one another. Ladies and germs, this is a story that a lot of fans have been waiting for for sometime. In this corner, it’s the patron of purple pants! The man of masquerading makeup! The killer clown! It’s…THE JOKER! And over here in this corner, it’s the inquisitive interrogator! The curious questioner! The green gangster! He’s…THE RIDDLER!

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Cable Jumps Back to Save the Future

The son of the X-Men’s Cyclops will likely make his big screen debut in the next Deadpool film, but for now, all you fans of our favorite time-traveling mutant can whet their appetite on Marvel’s latest Cable series for 2017. Written by James Robinson and pencilled by Carlos Pacheco, Nathan Summers is back to start some ruckus! Don’t worry, he only destroys things for a good cause. In this case, it’s to save the integrity of the time continuum, so buckle up because we’re about to blast into the past with Cable.

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‘Shed’ Discards Typical Comic Book Feel

…and it’s a good thing. There are hundreds, even thousands of comic book titles published around the world today. Many come and go, while other stalwarts have staked their claim in fandom and become favorites of many. For those that are here today and gone tomorrow, however, it’s worth taking a look at why they disappear. Poor story, perhaps? Not enough publicity? I have no role in Shed‘s story, but I’ll do what I can to deliver the publicity because this title is so worth it.

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Imagine Dragons Releases Third Album

When their first album, Night Visions, was released in September of 2012, Imagine Dragons quickly started amassing a fanbase.  There are very few albums that not only grab, but retain my interest for months and years to come.  Night Visions did that in extraordinary fashion for me and many others and is still a record I go back to frequently.  Roughly three years later, the band came out with its sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors.  For whatever reason, I never connected with it.  Nothing jumped out and grabbed me and I always found its debut track, “I Bet My Life,” to be rather noisy.  Critics were split on the record and I was bummed.  Still, it went gold in the U.S. and was successful overseas.  However, my musical concern grew.  Could they be the proverbial rookie flash-in-the-pan?  A one-and-done?

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‘Thrawn’ by Timothy Zahn

In 1991, author Timothy Zahn was tasked with the duty to write a trilogy of Star Wars novels that were the sequels to Return of the Jedi. From the get-go, these stories were magnificent and featured an array of new characters (Jacen & Jaina Solo) as well as ones we were already familiar with (Luke, Han, Chewie & Leia). One character that arguably stood out above them all in those books was the then newly created Grand Admiral Thrawn. He was such a hit with fans that even Disney couldn’t overlook him. It’s been out for about a month and a half now, but the alien commander has his own book.

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Friday the 13th – (PS4 Game Review)

In 1989, video game publisher LJN released the one and only Friday the 13th game for the NES. Based on the hit horror film franchise, you played as one of the Camp Crystal Lake counselors and made your way around the dreaded summer vacation spot to rescue children, kill zombies and ultimately face the man behind the mask himself, Jason Vorhees. Honestly, the game was done fairly well for its time and it was one of the earliest video games I beat.  Still, time marched on with gaming technology, but that late 80’s product was the only thing gaming fans of the demonic serial killer had.  Fast forward to May 26, 2017 and that appetite has been satiated.

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How DC Saved Aquaman

Aquman SquareHe talks to fish. He carries an underwater pitchfork. He looks like Biff the water polo star. The character of Arthur Curry has been the butt of numerous jokes and criticisms over the years. He’s been the proverbial punching bag of readers and critics alike. Yet somehow, despite all the knocks and jabs, Curry (a.k.a. Aquaman) has survived several decades. Though the Aquaman title has not achieved the commercial print success as some of his peers (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.), it has grown substantially in popularity in recent years, establishing itself a prominent foothold in DC’s line of top tier heroes.

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Why ‘La La Land’ is Overrated

La La squareFinally. I finally saw La La Land this past weekend. I took my seat, and though I’m not a fan of musicals, went in with an open mind. After all, I have grown quite fond of An American in Paris, Nine and of course Singing’ in the Rain. These were all great works with the latter most being nothing less than pure brilliance. Unfortunately, the days of Gene Kelly have long since passed, which brings us to the courageous and creative Damien Chazelle who wrote and directed La La Land. Now that the movie is over, I can tell all the award ceremonies why they’re wrong.

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Dave Matthews Band – Ranking Their Studio Albums

DMBIt’s no secret that Dave Matthews Band has been one of the most successful bands since the 90’s. There’s just something about their music that connects with me on a very soulful level. Maybe it’s the unconventional singing voice of Dave himself. It could be the marriage of all those instruments that blend into a unified musical journey. There’s also the story-telling element of Dave’s lyrics that add depth to their content. In actuality, it’s truly a combination of all those things and more. While the live concert is where the band thrives, there’s no overlooking their roster of studio albums. There’s no real timetable for their next release, but there is and admirable library to pick from today so let’s take a look at how they rate.

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Gregg’s Best and Worst Films of 2016

Top 10It was certainly a turbulent year in the entertainment business as 2016 saw the passing of numerous stars. Bowie left us, then Alan Rickman and the list went on with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds passing just days apart. While they have moved on to whatever the next stage may bring, we will always have them on film. Music and movies are two things that can bring people together so take a moment to remember those we admired while continuing to enjoy to the films we loved in 2016. Keep in mind this is not a list of the most artistic films of the year, just my personal favorites as well as a few that had me squirming in my seat in boredom.

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Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2016

top tenIt’s been a while since I amassed a favorite Blu-rays of the the year list. There was one final title I wanted to check out before concocting my ten favorites. I enjoyed Suicide Squad in the theater earlier this year, but just in case I enjoyed it even more after a second viewing, I had to see if it was going to make my list. It did not. While entertaining, it just doesn’t possess greatness, but I digress.  Alright, enough rambling.  It was all for the sake of filling space here in the opening paragraph anyway.  I’ve kept Hollywood holding its breath long enough. Onto the list!

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‘Power of Grayskull’ He-Man Documentary Uses Kickstarter as Launchpad

I remember it like it was only a few years ago. It was 1982 and for my fifth birthday I received the Masters of the Universe figure that I was hoping for; Stratos. The jetpack-strapped, goggle-wearing birdman delighted my little childhood mind like only a He-Man figure could, as he would enter the foray in the imaginative fight against Skeletor and his evil minions. As time went on and I grew older, it was through some parental encouragement that had me peddling my collection at garage sales over time. Three words. Oh, the regret. Though I’ve long since outgrown the cartoon and playtime with these figures, it almost feels as if this band of unique heroes and villains have been lost to toy history. That is until now when a team of veteran filmmakers seek to bring all this nostalgia back into our lives.

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Why Marvel’s Winning, DC’s Losing and Valiant is Better Than Both of Them

I’m a bagpiper. Yeah I know, what the heck does that have to do with comic books, right? Bear with me as there’s a point to this. In the bagpiper community, we have a running joke as to how the rest of the world views our music. It goes something like this, “There are three tunes played on the bagpipes; Scotland the Brave, Amazing Grace and everything else.” That stereotype likely came about due to how so many tunes sound alike on the instrument. The same can be said of comic book publishers to the layman. There are three names in the comic book publishing world; Marvel, DC and everyone else. However, that ‘everyone else’ group puts out some of the most incredible stories in the genre.

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